What to Look for When Buying a Roof Rack

Off-road adventures are always fun experiences that more and more people are looking to get into. You, your family or friends, and the great outdoors, all together with only one purpose in mind – to explore and have the time of your life. Many people opt for such trips, especially here in Australia, where weather conditions are often in favour and allow us to roam the beautiful nature as often as we’d like. No matter if you’re an experienced adventurer or you’re just getting familiar with the intricacies of it, you probably know that a successful trip into the wilderness requires a lot of gear, supplies, equipment and more, so you can be able to enjoy every minute of it without having to worry about anything. 

All this gear, however, takes up space, so you may be wondering where you’ll store it all without it getting in the way or causing any trouble? Well, this is where roof racks come into play. The very first step toward any 4×4 outdoor adventure should always be to buy roof rack. If you’re not sure what to look for when planning on buying one, though, here’s a helpful, three-point guide to help you make the right choice. 

Mind The Model 

roof rack
source: clubtouareg.com

First thing’s first, for your roof rack to be able to do its job properly you’ll need to mind the model and choose one that is compatible with your vehicle. The roof racks I’m talking about here are for 4×4 vehicles, but they can work for other vehicles as well. However, it’s not that smart to risk it when a lot is at stake, so your best bet is to always match the model of the roof rack with the model of your vehicle, 4×4 or otherwise. 

Either way, once you decide to buy roof rack for your vehicle you have two choices. You can either get one online or go to a local aftermarket parts dealership to check them out in person. Whichever option you choose, the procedure is the same. Look up the make and model of your car and ask for a roof rack for that specific vehicle. 

I’m being very pushy about this because it makes all the difference between your rack being securely fastened on your vehicle and able to carry all your things safely, and your rack being loose or too tight and posing a danger to both yourself and your belongings while on the road. Another thing to keep in mind is to always have the roof rack professionally installed so you’re absolutely sure everything will go as planned. 

Mind The Material 

roof rack
source: usa.chiefproducts.com.au

Just as other 4×4 vehicle additions, like UTE trays, for example, roof racks can be made from a variety of different materials. This may be a good thing if you know what you’re doing and looking for, but pose quite a conundrum if you’re inexperienced and you’re buying a roof rack for the first time. 

A rule of thumb is to always look for a metal that’s sturdy and durable, yet lightweight, but not too lightweight to succumb to the weight of your luggage and equipment. Many quality-made car roof racks are manufactured using some type of alloy, which is actually your best bet when it comes to this product. Alloy refers to a mix of two or more metals to achieve a single compound that features the strengths of all its creating elements and offer you exactly what I talked about above. 

One example of an alloy is steel, which is no stranger to the roof rack industry. Aluminium roof racks are also quite popular, due to their strength and lightweight.

Mind The Size

roof rack
source: instructables.com

Finally, we have the size. The great thing about roof racks is the fact that they come in singles or pairs, aka roof rails. You can also get more rails if you need them. This allows you to create your very own, custom car roof rack and store everything you need to store on it, no matter its size or heftiness. Of course, this step is closely connected with “choosing the model”, so you’ll still need to make sure there are racks that fit this profile and your vehicle, as well as get informed about how many rails you can actually put on your roof and be safe about it. 

Remember, roofs can cave in under pressure and even though your stuff isn’t actually on your roof, they’re still mounted on the roof racks which kind of are, so make sure to not exceed the recommended weight so you can be 100% safe and ready to go. 

To Sum Up 

I hope this three-point guide has helped you in your search for a roof rack. It may have seemed difficult or complicated at the beginning, but I’m sure those thoughts have evaporated by now and you feel confident in your ability to choose the best roof rack for your specific vehicle. Always remember that the only places you should buy roof rack from are specialized dealerships and vendors you can absolutely trust. No other place will be able to give you the quality, and with that, the peace of mind that everything will go exactly as planned.